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Sunday, March 31, 2019

Lilly Love Soaps: the beauty of getting back to basics

Lilly Love Soaps on Etsy
Image provided and used with permission

Vegan lifestyles, clean living, organic food production, reducing plastic use and doing as little harm as possible to ourselves, the planet and its ecosystems are all in vogue at the moment. Yet for some, this has been a way of life for decades. For many people with skin allergies or sensitive skin, natural cosmetics and health products are the only ones they can use without causing a flare up. Similar to those with food intolerances, they find that totally natural products heal and soothe them.

Lilly Love Soaps (tagline ‘the beauty of getting back to basics’) was born of this very need. The founder started making soap in her kitchen in Alaska to help her son who had sensitive skin and was prone to eczema. There are now ten items in the range, available through Etsy. They are all specifically designed to ease skin conditions such as psoriasis, eczema, dermatitis and acne. All products are handmade, and the range now includes shampoo, lotion and deodorant bars as well as soaps.

Typical ingredients include:
  • Neem oil; traditionally used in cosmetics in India
  • Calendula; has anti-inflammatory properties
  • Chaga mushroom; popular in Russia for boosting the immune system and for pain relief
  • Zinc oxide; in baby soap to treat nappy or diaper rash
  • Coconut oil; protects against hair damage and helps combat dandruff

All the ingredients are specially chosen to soothe, heal and calm itchy, scratchy, painful skin conditions. These soaps and bars can be personalized and make ideal wedding favors or baby shower gifts as well as birthday presents. They are pretty as well as being functional. This is the advantage of buying from a small, independent producer. Customers can benefit from individual service, rather than having to settle for the same as everyone else shopping at a big box store. Also, because the items are made specifically to order, buyers know they are fresh and have not been stuffed full of artificial preservatives. Indeed, the website states ‘The time I need to prepare an order for dispatch varies. For details, please see individual items.’ Delivery time in the US is estimated at between 5 days and a week, and will obviously be longer for overseas orders, which may also attract customs or import taxes, payable by the buyer.

These lovely products from Lilly Love Soaps not only make great gifts, they would also suit travelers who can’t use hotel-provided toiletries, or who are hiking or camping. In places such as Hawaii’s national parks, all trash must be carried out, so bars of toiletries are better than bottles and cans. A small selection of these in a guest bathroom or holiday rental would also add an individual touch.

Tuesday, March 26, 2019

DarrellsWorld Amazon shop has plush animals, keychains and more

DarrellsWorld mail order on
Image provided and used with permission.

DarrellsWorld mail order company on offers a selection of cool keychains, sweet plush animals, sports-related items and funky pull back vehicles.

Whatever the interests of the person you are buying for, DarrellsWorld is bound to have something to suit. Plain heart shaped carabiner keychains start from under $5 and Air Jordan keychains are barely more than that. Even the most expensive sports items are only around $30; these being sports related pillowcases and beach towels. Many items do not ship outside the United States, so this site is squarely aimed at Stateside shoppers rather than international sales. All items ship from Kansas.

Plush animals, including Jungle Book, Minecraft and Peppa Pig figures, are available at all price points. Minecraft toys of all types feature in the DarrellsWorld range, but these are not shipped outside of the USA. Fiesta Toys and Squishmallow plushies are also popular, while for those seeking a more unusual plushie, Fiesta’s blue crab, red-tailed catfish or red octopus may fit the bill. DarrellsWorld also sells a full range of Fursians in all colors of the rainbow.

NCAA sports fans will find plenty to showcase their team allegiance, including hooded and regular beach towels, neck pillows, travel mugs, lanyards and pillowcases. Utility grip gloves in team colors are available across all price ranges.

Keychains in the shape and design of popular Air Jordan shoes are also available across all price ranges, but prices do increase as stock is sold, and stock is limited, so it’s advisable for diehard fans to check back often and buy their merchandise early.

The die cast pull back models sell for around $10 at their most expensive, with the F16 Fly Tiger Jets being more expensive than the Volkswagen Beetle cars. Tractors and steam engine models sell for slightly less than $10 each, and like the Beetles, come in a variety of colors.

Billiards and pool keychains and Chopper motorbike models are on sale for between $8 and $9. Children’s size comic character throw blankets with sleeves are also popular, especially as winter isn’t yet over in many areas of North America. For a more practical present, DarrellsWorld also stock a range of coin banks in the shape of iconic Disney characters.

These items are designed to be fun, unusual and easily available, with shipping every day after payment has cleared. DarrellsWorld offers a wealth of ideas for small, inexpensive gifts for all ages, and with Amazon’s famed speedy delivery, it should be easy to find something to suit, no matter who is buying.

Monday, March 4, 2019

Wild Within offers unique handmade clothing with eco credentials

WildWithin logo
Image provided and used with permission.
If you’re anything like me, you prefer getting decent wear from your clothes. Fast fashion may be a thing for some, but it’s no use if your cheap and cheerful shorts or leggings split under the strain of a strenuous lift or ambitiously stretchy yoga pose in the middle of a heavy session in the gym. Been there, suffered that embarrassment.

Fortunately, help is at hand. WildWithin has some seriously cool active and casual wear. Leggings, vests, tanks, dresses, skirts, beanies and t-shirts are emblazoned with eye catching designs while some of the items are made in gym- and earth-friendly Ecopoly stretchy material. The company plants between one and four trees for every item of activewear clothing purchased. Ecopoly is used where possible, as it uses less water and energy to produce than regular polyester.

The designs are also inspired by the natural world, with top sellers including moon phase leggings and a full moon wrap skirt. There are also designs featuring leaves, flowers, the ocean, clouds, the sun and galaxies. The colors are by turns gentle and vibrant, rainbow hued and monochrome, but all the designs are striking. Unlike some materials, the leggings are not see through and are therefore equally appropriate for wearing to the gym or for casual trips. They may be comfortable for a flight or car journey, a shopping trip or a night on the town, depending on your preference. And of course, they are perfect for festivals and holidays.

Customers can choose where ‘their’ trees are planted if they have any strong feelings on the issue, as WildWithin supports many projects worldwide. Not only are the materials used better for the planet than conventional clothing, the trees planted as a result of a purchase will help offset the CO2 and other harmful emissions produced during the manufacturing process. This helps fight climate change and in some areas can contribute to increasing community sustainability by providing jobs or even food.

Customers after a unique design, logo or look have the option of a custom print on any item of clothing, while most of the designs on the site are unique prints in their own right, with only one handmade example available.

These items may be more expensive than shoppers would find in a High Street store, but on the other hand they are handmade, eco friendly, and feature eye catching designs which would also not be found in a High Street store. The extra cost is well worth it for the unusual designs alone, never mind the chance to give back to the planet through a purchase.

WildWithin is a great option for anyone wanting to stand out from the crowd for any reason. Buying early before the summer kicks in is recommended as not only are these items rare, they also take several weeks to produce and ship. The company have just launched an Ambassador Program and have planted almost 100 trees in the last year, in case anyone was wavering in their decision to purchase.